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Nobody knows when an emergency will strike. The unfortunate truth is that an emergency can happen at any time without any warning. That means you need to plan for a potential earthquake, tornado, flood and even a fire in advance. To do this, a DIY emergency preparedness kit is the perfect solution. With this kit on hand, you won’t have to worry about being taken by surprise if something should end up happening. The following items are essentials that every kit should have in it.
You can go some time without food. But if you run out of water, the chances of you surviving for very long is slim. That means you should have a gallon of water per person set aside to last you as least 2 weeks. If you don’t have the storage space, another option you have is to invest in a water filtration straw or kit to help cleanse the water coming into your home.
You should have a good supply of non-perishable food on hand that doesn’t require cooking. Find simple options that you can enjoy until you are able to restore power or gas. Ideally, you’ll want peanut butter, granola bars, water packed fish, and other items that come in a can as these won’t be impacted by water.
When possible, choose pop top cans so you don’t have to worry about a can opener to access their contents. Along with this, avoid any glass jars as they can fall and shatter. This can lead to new dangers when you’re trying to protect your family. Additionally, if you have pets remember you’ll need to have a backup supply of food for them also.
Good Quality Vitamins
You aren’t going to have proper nutrition with canned goods. A multivitamin can help you to compensate the vitamins and minerals that you’ll need. Make sure you stock up a couple of weeks of these important nutrients.
If you have a life essential prescription medication, begin to build up a 30 day supply of the medication. Usually, your insurance provider will allow you to pick up your prescription a few days advance. Do this until you have a safe reserve of your medications in place.
First Aid Kit
You’ll want to have a first aid kit with the essentials in it so that you can help anyone injured. This includes pain medication, bandages, antiseptics, and other essential items. Spray on bandage glue can go with this in the event someone needs stitches and you are unable to make it safely to a hospital for a long period of time. You can purchase one for $10-$15 or make one yourself with items you know you couldn’t be without. We keep a first aid kit in our cars, office as well in an our larger emergency prep kit.
Chances are, the power will be off. Make sure you have a light source with extra batteries in case you need it. In extreme situations, use this light source as minimally as possible. Lights are a sign there is life somewhere and if you’re in a dangerous zone, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. However, in the case of a natural disaster, this can help search and rescue to locate you.
Blankets and Sleeping Bags
Take blankets and sleeping bags and store enough for each member of the family into a waterproof bag. That way, you can ensure that everyone has something warm they can wrap around themselves. Consider also having a several sets of clothing on hand for each family member.
You never know if you’ll need pliers, a wrench, or other item to prevent further disaster. Make sure you have a tool kit full of everything including rope, fire gel, small knives, and similar items in case you need them. If the gas and water go out, you’ll want to use the wrench to turn everything off at the source. In your tool kit, also keep a spare set of keys to your safe, house, and vehicles in case you need them. That way, you won’t have to potentially dig through rubble to find them.
There’s a good chance in a disaster that you’ll experience a fire. Make sure you have a routinely inspected fire extinguisher on hand.
With fire, dust or debris in the air, it can become difficult to breathe. A dust mask will help to reduce the amount you breathe in. Have a nasal spray and if possible, an inhaler on hand in case you need them.
Activities for the Family
Children will grow anxious and agitated quickly. Make sure you have some form of entertainment in place for them to do.
Battery Powered Radio
A battery powered radio with spare batteries is important. When a disaster happens, this is how you can receive weather bulletins and information from local authorities. Make sure you know what the local radio stations providing your emergency broadcast information are. That way, you know where to set the dial to in the case that there is an emergency situation.
There are certain documents you’ll need to have on hand. Make sure you have information on medications and allergies your family has. Also keep copies of birth certificates, passports, and other essential documents here. That way if you need them in a hurry, you’ll know where to find them. There’s a potential that your originals will be destroyed and these backup copies will prove to be useful.
Emergency Numbers and a Phone with a Power Pack
You’ll want to have emergency numbers on hand in your kit. With this, have a charger backup that can quickly add additional power to your phone in case you need it. If an emergency happens this will be a powerful tool to have. Just note that you shouldn’t use any apps or other items on this phone as your goal is to conserve energy and use the phone only to let people know you are fine and where to find you if necessary.
You’ll want to have a few hundred dollars saved up in your home you can access. If the power goes out, cash will allow you to purchase items when debit and credit aren’t an option. Hide these bills in a secure place, within a watertight container.
Remember, it is important that you have an emergency preparedness kit on hand in the event of an emergency. Consider each of these items and be prepared for when disaster strikes.
Grab the Emergency Preparedness Printable checklist -Link Below:
For more information on how to build an emergency kit, check out Ready.gov for more tips.